Approximately 4,000 attendees from public and private sectors, over 300 speakers delivering the most relevant and compelling discussions in the humanitarian sector during the two day event.

Every year we deliver world-class, innovative conferences featuring thematic theatres with a rich selection of expert speakers from across the globe.

On May 19th and 20th, the World Humanitarian Forum portfolio of events, Aid&Trade, IDME, and Emergency Show will present highly-curated thematic theatres. While they initiate themed discussions around the sector, they also give the global audience the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding and to take part in training courses.

The 2021 thematic theatres will feature:

International Disaster Management Exhibition

International Disaster Management Exhibition

IDME will host a range of exhibitors, panel discussions and tech demos for services and products in the disaster management and response community. If you work or are interested in the sector we welcome you to register to visit - it's free!
IDME allows you to meet leading decision-makers in the sector, global procurement and government buyer groups as well as network with authorities such as government leaders, major NGOs, INGOs, and global policymakers.

Content Outline:

Day 1 - Today's Disruption and Opportunities

  • Opening Session with Advisory Board
  • From Crisis Response to Building Resilience
  • Frontline search and rescue in natural events – collapsed structures
  • Strengthening the Capacity of Local Response (Reinforcing National and Local Actors, The Importance of Localization)
  • Water crises and resilience
  • NGO Access to Disaster Zones: The Importance of Collaboration and Enhancing Cooperation Between Agencies and Government in the Field
  • Fireside Chats

Day 2 - Culture, community and governance

  • Communities First: The Natural First Responders
  • Natural Events - Assessing the crises of today and tomorrow
  • Disaster Risk Reduction in Action
  • Technology and disaster response
  • Risk-Sensitive Investment: Public Private Partnerships - Investing in Resilient Infrastructure
  • What next? Extrapolating trends for the future



Emergency Show

Emergency Show

Emergency Show aims to bring together the most influential members of the global blue light community. A range of panel discussions, tech demos, workshops and teaching courses will take place, enabling a exchange of knowledge, policy, and practice.
Attendees are expected to include: Government Officials, the United Nations & Non-Governmental Organisations, emergency services professionals & members of the Red Cross & Red Crescent communities.

Content Outline:

Day 1 - Today's Disruption and Opportunities

  • Looking at differing types of disruptions from a generalist perspective
  • Taking in the overall landscape
  • Extrapolating areas that need improvement
  • The global landscape – Communication: Toxification and polarisation
  •  What’s next on the emergency agenda? From a Pandemic to Climate Change?
  • Intelligence versus information in emergencies
  • Procurement and Supply Chain Management in Emergencies

Day 2 - Building Hope and the Future

  • Design competition
  • Urbanisation, cities and future planning through design
  • Future of emergency management and planning
  • Future of Emergency Services: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Future global health
  • Fireside Chat





Tech for Good icon

Tech for Good and Innovation Theatre

This theatre will focus on insightful and informative ‘must-know’ developments and advancements in tech for humanitarian and development stakeholders. From AI and machine learning to blockchain and VR, we will witness the latest developments through immersive and engaging sessions at the Tech for Good & Innovation stage.

Content Outline:

  • Technology in humanitarian organisations: funding and implementation challenges
  • Transforming humanitarian aid through drone technology
  • Satellite technologies for improved responses to humanitarian disasters
  • Leaving no one behind in Ed-Tech
  • Fireside Chat (Accessibility, Inclusion of disabled/impaired individuals
  • Strengthening post-disaster connectivity through increased use of mobile technologies
  • Data analytics for social purposes
  • Technological impacts on global mental health
  • Impact measurement for tech4good initiatives



Medical and Health

Medical and Health Theatre

Explores the challenges and solutions associated with health emergencies for those involved in disaster response as well as first responders in the ‘blue light sector’. These sessions bring together public and private agencies to discuss key themes such as surveillance and response to pandemics and how technology is enhancing the emergency services sector.

Content Outline:

  • The Pandemic’s Impact

  • Vaccines

  • Mental Health and Psychosocial Support: Global Challenges and Ways Forward

  • Training and Education

  • Fireside Chat (Oxford Covid-19 development representative)

  • The Underserved

  • Taking Care of Those Who Care

  • Bridging the Gaps

  • Driving Effectiveness and Efficiency in Healthcare

  • Building Back Better: Global Action Plan on Health and Well-being



Finance and Funding icon

Finance and Funding Theatre

Since there has never been enough humanitarian funding and nowadays crises cost more than ever, the main questions rely on how to get rapid access to funding and how to better finance humanitarian operations.
From Climate Finance to Digital Solutions, the Finance & Funding Theatre will discuss the main challenges and opportunities in this framework.

Content Outline:

Priorities: What are the Key issues in humanitarian Assistance?

  • Plenary Session
  • Climate finance: advancing the green agenda
  • Increasing diversity and inclusion through humanitarian finance
  • Vaccine financing and COVID-19: Ensuring no one is left behind
  • Development banking: the future, challenges and innovations

Strategies and Approaches – What are innovative and effective approaches we can take to advance the solution?

  •  Funding crisis management capacities and resilience
  •  Debt Relief
  •  Islamic Finance

Tools – What are the techniques and tools to increase the range and impact of finance to the beneficiaries

  • Digital solutions for supporting beneficiaries: Digital Currencies and IDs
  • Localising finance and leveraging local resources: voucher and cash-based assistance
  • CDO/Impact Bonds/Innovative financial instruments




Supply Chain Management icon

Supply Chain Management Theatre

While organisations are seeking ways to optimise their delivery capabilities in order to mitigate as much as possible the consequences of emergency, professionals from throughout the sector need a better understanding of the concepts and implications of true transparency within the supply chain to better aid the integration of appropriate technological solutions and interoperable processes that are needed to meet current legislative and consumer demands for sustainability in the supply chain.

Content Outline:

Impacts of COVID-19

  • Maintaining cold chain storage for vaccines
  •  Last mile logistics: operating in unpredictable post-disaster conditions
  • Impacts on medical supply: the INGO experience


  • Analysing localisation: trends, challenges and solutions to implementation
  • Fireside chat (Pooled supply chains and strength in numbers)

Green supply chains and sustainability

  •  Promoting green supply chain management: adopting sustainable policies
  • Innovative last mile supply chains: increasing sustainability
  • Challenges to the implementation of new product innovations

Training and Education

  • Transparent supply chains: ensuring accountability and sustainability

  • Delivering humanitarian aid in fragile states

  • Fireside Chat (Developing competences, Essential standards)



International Development icon

International Development Theatre

With a special focus on the challenges and advancements the SDGs have achieved and with the ultimate aim of building a safer and more prosperous world, the sessions of this theatre will focus on how to strategically challenge the western paradigm of development with an emerging leadership approach. The International Development Theatre offers a unique global platform of professionals that will share their invaluable knowledge and experience with the WHF audience.

Content Outline:

Agenda 2030: What’s next for the decade of action?

  • Opening session: Futures thinking: Advancing the Global Reset Dialogue
  • SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals: Business Partnering to deliver on the SDGs
  • SDG 1 and 2: Poverty, income inequality and food insecurity - a vicious cycle


  • Conceptualizing Critical Peace Youth Initiatives in Conflict Settings
  • Youth leadership: promoting youth in international decision making

Peace and Development Nexus

  • Women, Peace and Security: A Discussion of Gender Dynamics in Practice
  • Engaging with local communities: ensuring peace, security and justice
  • Sport diplomacy for development & peace

Leaving No-One Behind: Roadmap to building back better

  • TVET: Leaving no-one behind – An Inclusive and Equitable Education
  • Education for all: empowering women and girls



Please note that the content may have changes as the event's agenda is curated.